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To Pop up or not to pop-up? It is one of the most frequent questions we are asked and seems to be the most common strategy for list building. But people don’t like them. We don’t like them, so much so we’ve written about it before. There are plenty of ad blocker tools. Google has an official stance on annoying ads. And the Chrome browser automatically blocks certain types of pop-ups. So why would you use them as part of your marketing plan?

Well, not all pop-ups are made equal, and when they are thoughtful, Pop-ups do work. No one likes to be tricked into doing anything. When faced with a pop-up that is blocking entry to content on a website you are visiting, you’re going to feel like you’re being swindled into giving your email away. That doesn’t make for a great customer experience.

Like most things, when done right, and in moderation, Pop-ups can help increase conversions (someone on your website takes an action) and decrease bounce rates (someone comes to your website and leaves quickly). It’s all about timing, mobile friendliness, and being relevant to your audience.

What’s the Value?

Pop-ups are a lot more effective if, before triggering them, you give your visitors a chance to discover value in your content or products. If someone is looking to find out what time you close, let them. If they want to read all of the incredible blog posts you have catalogued, let them! Those who don’t like your content or find it’s not what they are looking for will most likely leave the site and never come back anyway. However, if someone likes what you do, you might want to provide them with an easy way to subscribe, download a demo, or offer a discount.

Most pop-up platforms and plugins offer options to get the timing right. Whether by time on the page, scroll amount, time on the site, page views, specific date or time, or exit-intent, you can set pop-ups such as those below to show up in a more strategic way and at a time when the user has already been engaged.

Mobile Friendliness

According to a study available on Statista, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones in 2018. Google has been putting a lot of emphasis on mobile-friendliness in the last few years and pop-ups that don’t display properly on mobile devices could affect the way your website ranks in the search engine.

What’s the moral of the story? It’s complicated. Like the rest of your marketing, you shouldn’t be tricking your audience into anything. And if you don’t like your pop-up, why would anyone else? Work on your strategy, be creative, track your results and optimize, optimize, optimize!